Identity & Wellbeing
Several studies demonstrate that having a high sense of self-esteem (or self-concept) that contributes to health and wellbeing; people who feel valued and respected are more likely to lead happy and productive lives and less likely to have anxiety or depression. Further research show a clear association between positive self-esteem, social and emotional wellbeing and a strong sense of racial or cultural identity. Racial-ethnic identity and self-esteem are important indicators of positive mental health that can provide a buffer against the negative impacts of racial discrimination experienced by Aboriginal people. This page is specially focused on measures of racial and cultural identity and links to individual social, emotional and cultural wellbeing.
IRISE_C (Racial Identity and Self-Esteem of Children)
The IRISE_C (Racial Identity and Self-Esteem of children) inventory was developed to explore the elements of racial identity and self-esteem of urban, rural and regional Aboriginal children. The IRISE_C instrument was validated with over 250 Aboriginal children aged 8 to 12 years. The IRISE C was piloted with Aboriginal children aged 6–13 years across three sites (rural, regional and urban) in Western Australia. An exploratory factor analysis using Principal axis factoring was used to assess the fit of items and survey structure. A confirmatory factor analysis was then employed using LISREL (diagonally weighted least squares) to assess factor structures across domains. Internal consistency and reliability of subscales were assessed using Cronbach’s coefficient alpha. The tool assesses children’s knowledge of issues related to their racial identity, and the importance, or salience, that they attach to these issues. In the main study, factor analyses showed two clear factors relating to: Aboriginal culture and traditions; and a sense of belonging to an Aboriginal community. The IRISE_C has been shown to be a valid instrument useful of exploring the development of racial identity of Australian Aboriginal children across the 8–12 year old age range and across urban, rural and regional geographical locations.
Development and validation of the Australian Aboriginal racial identity and self-esteem survey for 8–12 year old children (IRISE_C).